The old machine was an archaic manual machine prone to frequent breakdowns and was causing her “immense irritation”.
Delighted by the reboot in her training, the teenaged star has started preparing for the Tokyo Olympics with renewed vigour and optimism. At the Olympics, she is likely to take part in the 10m women’s air pistol and 10m air pistol team events.
“Practice is going on in full swing. The new electronic target system is used at ISSF-supervised competitions. There is not even one percent of laxity on my part,” Manu told TOI in an exclusive interaction from Goria. “There should be some competition, though,” she added quickly.
Manu vouched for online shooting championships to help Olympic-bound elite shooters of the country get “much-needed competition”.
“An online shooting championship will definitely help the Olympic-bound elite shooters. I had participated in two competitions before the lockdown. It will give us competition and valuable practice,” the 18-year-old said.
Today’s Online Shooting competition match was Good (586/600).Great move by Organising Committee.@indianshooting… https://t.co/M3l8MTrREs
— Manu Bhaker (@realmanubhaker) 1589037355000
Elaborating on how the online championship can be held, Manu’s father said, “Most elite shooters have the electronic target system installed. It is linked with a laptop and scores are uploaded real time online. There should be a steady Internet and the laptop shouldn’t malfunction.”
A legitimate and natural question is: What if someone is cheating?
“In the tournaments that I’ve taken part in, there was monitoring happening. Actually, camera should be installed at the makeshift range,” Manu suggested.
Her father added: “Online shooting championship is the future. It can be organized even better if an app is developed. Now one person has to keep on recording on one’s mobile phone, while the shooter is shooting. At present, the major negative points for an online shooting championship are computer failure or the Internet getting disconnected while the competition is on.”
Shooting has a realistic chance of opening up its outdoor training facilities sooner than other disciplines, as it is a non-contact sport with shooters in possession of their equipment at all times. However, Manu wants no risk.
“Durghatna se der bhali (Better a delay in opening of the outdoor training facilities than any kind of untoward incident),” she said. “When we go to the range, we come in contact with miscellaneous things. There is a register that needs to be signed. That comes in contact with several people. There are two-three washrooms at the range. Let’s say 50 shooters are given entry, they’ll use the washrooms. So, till the time the threat of the virus is not over, it is better to practice at home.”
Manu’s father feels September-end would be “practical” to start training or hold any competition at the shooting ranges. “June will be the peak of the coronavirus and then there will be a downfall. September end seems to be practical for any kind of resumption,” he specified.
At home, Manu is utilising the lockdown to go back to old hobbies. “In our sport, we have a lot of back-to-back competitions. Rarely do we get time to unwind. So now that I’m at home, I use the time and do painting for 1 hour every day. I also try and read. I prefer watching TV to being on the phone all the time. During this lockdown, I haven’t missed a single episode of the Ramayana and Mahabharata.”